By Daphne Abeel
Special to the Mirror-Spectator
BOSTON — When “Deported/ a dream play” by Joyce Van Dyke opens on March 8 at the Modern Theatre in Boston, it will mark the culmination of a five-year creative process for the playwright.
Said Van Dyke in a recent interview, “It’s very intense. I started working on the material in 2007. The first thing I did was to go to ALMA [the Armenian Library and Museum of America] and listen to interviews done with survivors of the Genocide. Many of them were done by Bethel Bilezikian Charkoudian.”
The play is the story of two women, Van Dyke’s grandmother, Elmas Sarajian Boyajian, and her close friend, Varter Deranian. Both women lived through the Genocide and lost their first families but managed to come to the United States to start new lives and to have new families. In the play, Van Dyke explores her own history as a descendant of Genocide survivors and interweaves the memories and dreams of the two women, whose friendship and history binds them.
“I had to do a lot of research,” said Van Dyke, “because my grandmother never talked about what had happened to her.”
The actual writing of the play was a true collaborative effort.